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ROCKEFELLER CENTER

rockefeller centerBetween 48th And 51st Streets and 5th to 6th Avenues the complex of 19 buildings known as Rockefeller center is spread over a whopping 22 acres. Named after the developer and millionaire John D Rockefeller who leased the space from Columbia University for the development of an opera house for the Metropolitan Opera. When the Stock Market crashed the opera pulled out so the Rockefeller Family decided to proceed and undertook what was a massive @250,000,000 line of credit to level and reconstruct the area. The 14 original buildings were mostly created in the Art Deco style and the total complex took around 9 years to build.

During the Second World War the building known as International Building North became the headquarters for the US branch of the British Security Coordination and main operations center for the Allied Forces intelligence. The original 14 buildings are now joined by 4 others built in the 1960s and 70s which run along the Avenue of the Americas ad in 1985 the land which was still owned by Columbia University was sold tot he Rockefeller Group for a staggering $400 million and in 1989 the Rockefeller Group was bought out by the Mitsubishi Group. 

The complex is currently owned by The Tishman-Speyer Group along with the Lester Crown Family who purchased the land for $1.85 Billion dollars.The largest building in the complex is the GE building locally known as 30 Rock. It is the location for the infamous photograph Lunchtime atop a skyscraper taken in 1932 of construction workers sitting on a steel Girder with an 840 foot drop below and no safety harnesses or nets. The top of the building is a massive observation deck with glass walls.The Rainbow Room Restaurant is on the 65th floor and the TV network NBC has their studios and broadcast centers there as well. At the base of 30 Rock is the lower plaza where the Ice Skating rink sits in winter and in summer is a pavilion for dining.

The giant Christmas tree is installed every year just above the lower plaza in a huge festival featuring singers, dancers and artists from all over the world. There is a large underground shopping plaza stretching from 47th St to 51st St which can be accessed from 6 of the Rock buildings as well as from the lower plaza and the subway station 47th/50th and 6th Ave on the B,D F and M lines. Surrounding the plaza are 200 flagpoles displaying the flags of United Nations member countries unless it is a US nation holiday in which case the flags are all American. There is an enormous amount of art and sculpture including multiple frescos and metal work in the area which can be discovered simply by wandering around. Some notable pieces include. The Atlas ,The Prometheus,The News and American Progress.

There is a plaque in the main plaza of 30 Rock which lists the principles of John D Rockefeller and how he lived his life. No review of this iconic location would be complete without including one of its most important buildings THE RADIO CITY MUSIC HALL. It is estimated that over 300 million people have seen shows or concerts at the hall which was built in 1932 and restored in 1999. It is one of the greatest examples of classic Art Deco design in the world and is a New York City landmarked building. In addition to the concerts and special events it showcases the beloved Radio City Christmas Spectacular every holiday season starring the famed Rockettes Kickline and a slew of animals, musicans and even a flying sled making it a do not miss destination for anyone visiting during christmas time. With its proximity to the Diamond District and St Patricks Cathedral the Rock is a must see destination on any New York trip.


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PLACES TO EAT
Au Bon Pain
Bouchon
Hale and Hearty
Mendys Kosher Deli
Prêt a manger
Rock Center Cafe
Oceana
The Sea Grill
The Rink Bar
SushiDen
Link to arrange tours of THE ROCK COMPLEX http://www.rockefellercenter.com/tour-and-explore/


 


 

 

 

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